Skip to main content

Mick Mulvaney
  White House Budget Director Were Slowing Medicaid Growth Rate  CSPAN  May 23, 2017 8:00pm-8:36pm EDT

8:00 pm
change. the white house has released its fiscal 2018 budget proposal which includes cuts to medicaid, student loans aid and food stamps and seeks to cut 3.6 trillion in federal spending over 10 years. white house budget director mick
8:01 pm
mulvaney answered questions about the budget in his 35 minute briefing. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, good morning, good morning. i wanted to make a brief statement before we start about things that are probably more important than numbers and folks like me get taught -- caught up in the numbers. the president this morning summed it up for a lot of us and
8:02 pm
call these people who perpetrated this evil losers. the president has 11 or 12 and i took my son to his first concert 11 or 12. we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ally and their friends in the uk and also have the victims and their families in our hearts as we talk about these other things that somehow palin comparison. without let's talk about the budget. some of what i say the opening will be a repeat that's a lot of folks were not here. let's talk about what this is. this is the president's fy18 budget. the name on the cover is the new foundation for american greatness. as i read through it over the weekend as i did in fact we have
8:03 pm
been working on this since before i actually got here, it struck me that the title should have been different. the title should have should have been a taxpayer first budget because that's what this is. as i was trying to reconcile those two things was called the new foundation for and greatest i wanted to call up a taxpayer first budget it struck me that was what was new for one of the things knew about this budget that we looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills. for years and years we simply looked at the budget in terms of the folks who are on the back end of the program, the recipients of the taxpayer money and we haven't spent nearly enough time focusing our attention on the people who pay the taxes. i got several questions yesterday and i know i will about compassion. compassion needs to be on both sides of the equation. you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it and that is one of the things that is new about this president's budget.
8:04 pm
what else is new? it's knew that it balances for the first time in at least 10 years. the last time we looked we couldn't find an obama budget that balances ever. we tried it couple of times the primary balance which is balanced without regard on the debt with balance. we get to an actual balance from this budget within the 10 year window. he begins to reduce the size of the debt relative to the size of the economy in year one. that's how important it was and is to the president to try and bring fiscal discipline. again if you are looking through the perspective of the people who pay you might be able to tell us some point in the foreseeable future you are going to be able to balance. the previous of completely gave up on that. as i have said before the previous administration if you borrow money, if i take money from you and i have no intention of ever giving it back that is
8:05 pm
not debt. that is theft and if we are going to borrow money from people we have to have a plan for how we are going to pay it back and that's what this budget does and that's one of the things that is new about this budget. the next word of the title is foundation. what is the foundation we are trying to build here? i sum it up this way. i saw an article a couple of weeks ago about what is trump isnomics? it sustained 3% economic growth. everything that we do in this administration every single time i'm called into the oval office whether it's on immigration policy health care policy tax reform policy trade policy budget spending the focus is sustained 3% economic growth. it was a tax that mainly by some folks on the left need in the mainstream that say that's not a reasonable assumption to stop and think how absurd that is to
8:06 pm
say that 3% growth in the american economy is absurd. he used to be normal to 10 years ago was normal. the average over the two and 40 odd years that we have been a country is 3%. the 1.9% growth rate the previous administration assumed toward the end of their had a 1.9% growth rate for the entire 10 year window and the cbo assumes we simply reject. that's a pessimistic look at what the potential for this country and this country's people did. we reject that pessimism and say you know what republican should have gone in and felt a 4% growth as that would be aggressive. 3% growth is just getting back to home. you are 30 years old and watching this you have never had
8:07 pm
a job as an adult than a healthy american economy. either a recession or a slow sluggish economy stumbling along at less than 2% growth. the differences between 22% growth in 3% growth doesn't sound like much. fact i cringe when i hear people say it's a 1% difference. it's a 50% difference. the difference is not if it's tangible. 3% economic growth and a healthy american economy if you don't like your job you can quit because you'd know you can get another job. if you get laid off you can start your own business. these are opportunities that people have forgotten about and these are the things the optimism and the dynamism in the country that the present is so eager to push back and to bring back to the country. it's what drives every one of our policies especially when it comes to anything to do with jobs and economy. we will bring back 3% economic growth to this country and those numbers are assumed in this budget. by the way if we don't the
8:08 pm
budget will never balance. you will never see a balanced budget again. we refuse to accept that the new normal in this country. 3% as the old normal. 3% will be the new normal again under the trump administration and that is part and parcel with the foundation of this budget. along the same lines the budget also speaks to and funds a lot of the president's priorities. we talked about this since march when we unveiled the budget blueprint of national security obviously a priority for this president. border security another priority for him. we can talk at length about the details of the additional money we have spent in those areas. the total plus-up at the end of the 2018 budget is $54 billion over the congressional budget office baseline. the law enforcement is a significant increase at the federal and state and local
8:09 pm
level as we follow through on our efforts to enforce the law. veteran see more money here. a classic example of looking at the budget through the eyes of the taxpayer. i put myself in the role of the person that's taking the money from the u.s. taxpayer giving the money to someone else in terms of benefit. i can look in the eye and say i need to take this money from you so i can help you i can do that in good conscious and look you in the eye and say are you okay with that? i am a lot less comfortable to the point of not wanting to. saying i want to take this money to give it to this person over here who is not really disabled but who is getting a disabled benefit or this person who is supposed to get money or going to school but is it really going that's the type of compassion we talk about and that's the type of different perspectives they bring to the budget and is one of the things when we talk about
8:10 pm
veterans. people don't mind paying their taxes as long as they know the money is not going to be wasted and frittered away. also increase spending for school choice and paid parental leave making this the first president of either party to propose a nationwide paid parental leave program for parents and adoptive parents, $20 billion over the course of a 10 year window. i think i gave an incorrect number yesterday at 25. national security law enforcement veterans school choice paid parental leave all campaign promises the president made when he was running for office. these numbers are simply the presidents policies put on paper we took his priorities in the tournament to numbers. it does not along the same lines not a single thing in here touches social security retirement or medicare. why? because that's what the president said when he was
8:11 pm
campaigning that he would not change those things. i was sitting in the presidents office with a list of probable reforms that are mandatory with some people call vital spending and the president at the end of the list said yes, yes, no, no and the no's were social security retirement at medicare. he didn't change those at all because he promised people that he wouldn't. we can do all that and balance at the same time because it looks at spending differently. we are no longer going to measure compassion by the number programs for the number of people on those programs but by the number of people we help get off of those programs. we are not going to measure compassion by the amount of money we spend for the number of people we help. that is how you can get 3% economic growth and that's a balanced the budget in 10 years. that's how you can borrow money from people promising and intending to pay it back and that's how you can help people take charge of their own lives.
8:12 pm
that is the part of the budget that deals with american greatness. without i will take questions for a little bit. i know they're a couple. >> the campaign promise was not to touch medicare but not medicate so how does he intend to square that up? >> a couple of things on medicaid and this is one of my favorite stories to tell about washington spending. keeping in mind and if you're watching this at home in washington d.c. if you spent $100 last year on something and we spent $100 on it this year on that same thing in washington people call that a cut. 100 last year, 100 this year. you all call it a cut. in fact several occasions we spent $100 last year and $102 this year and many people will still call that a cut. the budget is hardwired by the congressional budget office to go up every single year and if
8:13 pm
the progression of budget office says we spent $100 last year in we are supposed to spend $106 this year a lot of people anything less than 107 is a cut. i have actually heard 106 referred to in the congressional budget office. a classic example of how washington speaks differently. a couple of things about medicaid. there are medicaid cuts in terms of what ordinary human beings would refer to is a cut. we are not spending less money one year than we spent before to what we are doing is growing medicaid more slowly over the ten-year budget window then the congressional budget office says that we should or says that we will under current law. we change those growth rates and cut the american health care act which this president does support. he said from the beginning we support the house efforts and look or were too working with the senate working on with their health care bill would look like but we support the american
8:14 pm
health care act and that doesn't change medicaid. how does it change it is something i don't think enough people are talking about. it makes a lot better and a lot more able to deliver the necessary services to the people who need it in here's how. medicaid is funded in large part by the state in and that the state legislature and our second-largest line item after k-12 was medicaid. we would see the program come from washington with all these instructions on how to use it. this won't work in south carolina for example medicaid design for a more urban population than a rural as predominates in south carolina and we would ask the federal government give us more control over how the money gets spent. we think we can do it better. big think we can provide the same services to the same number of people cheaper or provide better service to more people at the same a lot of money if you let us do it better in the federal government i said no. an american health care act we say yes and we get the state
8:15 pm
legislatures more control over medicaid. everyone is interested in seeing the true dean -- truly needy in our state and our nation get what they get under medicaid. under current law of obamacare and we talk about what a failure that is that there's a better way. in the back. >> the deficit has doubled since 2008. congress went on the attack. in his assessment of the budget he called is simply ludicrous and the administrator in this double counting the tax cut than the feds. >> i just got a chance to see the peace that mr. summers wrote on the way out the door and the ideas were rushing into my head. that would be a good time for him to come out and identify himself. i've would look back at the
8:16 pm
economic assumptions that the obama administration made in its first couple of years. i want to say on a couple of different occasions there is growth rate with more than 4.5%. the first administration in history. it was the first decade of the first 80 or period not to ever 3%% growth rate and they were promising 4.5% growth. let me talk about unreasonable assumptions. we talked about my 3% growth rate in his 4.5 and we talk about who is closer to reality. regarding the double counting here's one of the things that a lot of folks have overlooked. it's hard to count the sunni don't want to make too many assumptions. you have to make assumptions in the budget. you've talked about looking 10 years in the future so it's natural that both administrations from either party to make some assumptions but one assumptions we made is we didn't change many of the tax gap. a tax gap is the amount of money
8:17 pm
that they should be collected in taxes every year but don't. in 2016 the number was $486 billion else -- almost enough to close the tax gap. why is that important? there are two reasons for three reasons people don't want to pay a tax. there are certain number number of people who don't want to do that number to it's hard for them to do it through being too complicated for them to do it. if it's a simpler tax code that people are more likely to pay. that just makes sense. if you can fill out your tax returns on a single piece of paper you are much more likely to actually do it. it's easier for us to see if you're paying the right amount. it's easier for you to pay an easier to make the government
8:18 pm
see if you're paying the right amount which allows us to assume a reduction of tax gap. i am aware of the criticism and i would simply say there other places where we are overly conservative in our accounting. we stand by the numbers. we thought the assumption that tax reform at the deficit neutral. was the most reasonable of the three options we have. we can assume that our tax reform is deficit-neutral assumed that it would reduce the deficit or assume it would add to the deficit. without assuming that middle road would be the best way to do it. an odd. >> you describe those as a taxpayer raise. >> you tell me. think the national science foundation last year use your taxpayer money to fund a climate
8:19 pm
change -- do you think that's a waste of your money? >> what about climate science? >> i will take that as a yes by the way. i think you see my point. what you saw happened during the previous demonstrations they went too far to one side where we spent too much of your money on climate change and not very efficiently. do we target it? sure. do a lot of the epa reductions aim at reducing the focus on climate? yes. does it mean we are anti-science? absolutely not. are we trying to get things back in order to where we can look at the folks who pay the taxes and say we want to focus on science climate that we don't want to do some of the crazy things the previous administration did. >> you are talking about assumptions. what are your assumptions on the budget and reference to the
8:20 pm
wall? congress has come on the record and said --. >> some folks aren't in folks aren't it supported than some folks are very much in support of it. i was disappointed yesterday i don't know who wrote the embargo i don't think it was anybody here. i read the article yesterday about how we supposedly dramatically reduced our request for the wall funding. the 2017 request was $1.5 billion for border security and three-point zero billion in additional funding and their quest and the 2018 proposal is 2.6 for border security almost twice as much in 4.52 total dhs, much larger number than 2017. i'm not sure how they have person got that number but let me address your question. we are absolutely dead serious about the wall. in fact after taking care of the
8:21 pm
national security and the vets might guess it is in the presence top three. we made that clear to the folks on the hill that while we did not get as much money as they wanted for border security in the 2017th on the bus and you were here for the presentation i gave on that we will see increased border security between today and the end of the calendar year. by the same token we will continue to press on. we do think there's a role for technology in additional people all of which we ask for in the 2018 but your request but it's priority for the president. >> an odd. >> keep in mind because there were a lot of numbers floated during the campaign, three, 3.5, four, 4.5 and we start with
8:22 pm
those numbers and worked back. in fact it was myself and secretary mnuchin director colin who at the time was filling the role filled by the head of the council of advisers and we sat down and we looked at the cbo baseline numbers and said okay what will our tax policy increase gdp by? what are the ranges for that? what while our regulatory policy impacts and what could the ranges be for that? what does repealing obamacare do for increasing the gdp. by the way the cbo has hard numbers on that. the congressional budget office congressional budget office assumes that the repeal obamacare will increase gdp because obama cared creates a disincentive to work. we went through the methodology item by item and arrived at 3%. i also think you see that as well in the ramp up. we don't assume 3% or 1% but our assumption is 2.3 and 2.5 and
8:23 pm
2.7 or 2.8. we think is a very reasonable and defensible macroeconomic assumption. digging deeper into the numbers we also think our numbers regarding the related interest rates and unemployment rates are likewise defensible. we get a lot of questions about productivity and we hear the stories as someone that leading stories about a business in utah i can find enough people to work and people say how are you going to grow the economy at 3%? if we are already facing, i'm going to pull the numbers up so i don't butcher these. the difference between the u6. in the u3 rate is in excess of six laypeople. the youth three rate is what everybody calls him employment rate in the u6.
8:24 pm
is those folks are unemployed in the labor force looking for but they can't find a plus the people who are marginally working part-time for economic reasons because they can't find full-time work. that's different. that delegates over 6 million people so we should be able to drive u3 and u6 together. that's one of the ways we get productivity gains. >> going back to 1994 is that a good measure? >> in a properly functioning manner, marginally attached and part-time against your will. you want to work full time but you are technically not unemployed. that's the technical definition of the u3 unemployment rate. you want to be more productive and we do believe we bring those people back adding to productivity.
8:25 pm
c the day that he came down the escalator basically and said we are going to save medicaid medicare associates yesterday without cuts. i recognize saving social security retirement but not saving social security disability insurance which benefits more than 10 million americans as the press in keeping his promise on that program? >> thanks for that. he absolutely is and here's why. i will put it to you this way peter propose to do parental paid leave in this budget. the first president of either party to do that. we propose to do that using the tools that art exists to the state's unemployment insurance. by the way i think that's the same with a candidate does it now. they're there are couple of states new york and new jersey to provide statewide paid parental leave through their disability insurance programs. that does not mean parental
8:26 pm
leave is unemployment and it does not mean parental leave is disability. simply means that program is set up in the same is true with social security disability. the welfare for the long-term disabled. it's not what most people would consider to be social security. >> those who received ssdi received less as a result of this budget. spin i hope so. there are people who are getting ssdi who should not beginning at at -- people who are really disabled and need this program. >> how we determine who is getting it and who shouldn't be getting it? >> it's a great question. we try to phase them and to make sure they are not accused of using the program but your point is an excellent one.
8:27 pm
we are not kicking anyone off of any program who needs it. we have plenty of money in this country to take care of the people who need help. and we will do that. we don't have enough money to take care of everybody who doesn't need it. s.n.a.p. for example. 42 million americans, 44 i will take your word for it. the high was 47 and that was during the recession. pre-recession the numbers were as low as 28 despite during the recession which you would expect on a counter-cyclical program like food stamps. during bad economic times more people go on food stamps so it's completely within reason to look at that number from 28 million on food stamps before the recession to 27 at the height. it's 44 today in here we are at the end of the recession.
8:28 pm
we have had economic growth albeit slow and what we considered to be full employment with limitations of u3 and u6. why is the number so high? if you are paying for it isn't reasonable to ask a question or the people on that program who shouldn't be on there and shouldn't be up to the government to make sure we can look at folks paying the taxes in the eye and say we did everything we could to make sure that everyone on ssdi is really disabled. in fact we think it's the definition of compassion, compassion that is bounce between the people get the benefits and the people who pay them. spin any talk about the provisions affecting federal employees and how they strengthen the federal government. >> let's talk about federal retirement. that's one of our largest changes. simply put we try and make federal retirement closer to the
8:29 pm
private sector so we have increased the contributions that they make to their 401(k) program. i think one program we got rid of a cost-of-living adjustment that was there but keep in mind those are folks who will also be participating in social security at the same time which is a cost-of-living adjustment so he thought they were commonsense reforms to try and bring the federal government benefit program closer to the private sector. i'm a federal worker. i have a pension and 401(k). raise your hand if you are in the private sector and you have the bench in the 401(k). one did. she wanted to ask the next question. we are simply trying to get some common sense back into that program and we don't think that's a reasonable thing to do. it's the right thing to do on behalf of the taxpayers.
8:30 pm
spin what are the american people going to do with that money? are we talking about a replacement for a new wall? >> just to be clear the 1.5 was their request for 2016. 2.6 is the request for 2018 reflecting the fact that there are 12 months and five months in 2017. the ancient of the question would be the replacement wall and that would be land acquisition and that would be infrastructure. keep in mind you don't automatically build a wall and middle of nowhere. you have to build a road to get there and you often have to run utility services out if you are going to do lighting for example. it's all of the above and part of the president's commitment, they've been decided on the best kind of wall. i think we are going through a computation right now.
8:31 pm
it's four or eight and it depends on how you want to count the different prototypes in the process of being built right now as we figure out what the most appropriate type of wall is. by the way we fully expect the different barriers will serve best in different areas. spin one had to do with projection of 10 years outrigger you projecting how much money you will need to complete the present campaign? >> that's a great question. keep in mind the federal budget is really its own thing. they called it a budget to get that in order to call it. it has a spending proposal for the first year and that's where you get a good bit of detail and then you have the policies and broader brush approaches for the next years two through 10. the answer to your question is it's very specific specific and
8:32 pm
where he would spend dh matt s. money 20 team but as you go further away we do plug-in numbers for example but we don't say what number that will be. we will take the last question here. [inaudible] how concerned are you that doing that would pressure and prices lower and breaking with its agreement to other oecd nations. >> i can't speak to the oecd. i'm not familiar with that. i do not believe the proposals they got would harm domestic reduction ability. one of the reasons we believe we can reduce -- of course if you do it slowly and telegraph it over course of time without having a dramatic impact on prices. the reason and by the way bush is she's talking about is we propose to reduce the size of the gdp.
8:33 pm
it may have been the early 80s by the time they got funded and at that time we were importing 6 million barrels of oil a day from middle east and that limited production. that's why you do it. it was a national security argument. if we are going to rely heavily on imported oil and thereby be a national security and economic argument of not exposing ourselves to the oil shock we had in the 1970s. that risk goes down dramatically when we have to increase domestic production like we do today. you saw congress last year approved for the first time crude oil exports so we have the opportunity now and we produce more oil with hydraulic fracking and produce more natural gas under hydrocarbons. we think it's the responsible thing to do. it's no longer necessary.
8:34 pm
i don't need to take this much of your money too buried in the ground and in west texas someplace for domestic and national security. we have domestic supplies. thank you all very much. thank you for that. we will take s.n.a.p.. i thought i answered the s.n.a.p. question. >> he's said you would engage in the work requirements and i was wondering if you could tell us more about the process and how you expect that to happen and also tell us what you would say to the able-bodied american new preference to say i want to work but i can't find work. >> the answer to your question is i'm not clear on the details and how we save overtime but in terms of obesity to people is great, thank you. thank you for wanting to work. we need you to do that so we are
8:35 pm
starting on the exact same thing. we'll do everything we can to help you find a job that you can use to help take care of you, yourself and your family. that's not the problem. the folks who are out there who are on food stamps and want to work we will be able to work with them to solve the problem. they are not what is causing the problem with food stamps. it's the folks who are on their do don't want to work in as we are trying point out. if there are 44 million people on their and eight years till the end of the recession may be their folks were on there that shouldn't be. that's a reasonable question to ask. i would suggest its compassionate question to ask but i can assure you if you're in the country want to work there is good news. donald trump's president and we will get 3% growth and give the opportunity to go back to work so thank you very much.